Scholar's Rock 2005
At the time Zimmerman was commissioned by the board of directors to create a work to mark the 75th anniversary of the Institute for Advanced Study, she had been visiting the campus regularly for almost two years because her husband was a faculty member there. The commemorative nature of the commission is obvious only in the quotes engraved into the vertical sides of each bench. These were selected by the Institute directors from the writings of three important figures in its history: Abraham Flexner, its first director (1930–1939), “Those who have moved the world have usually been those who have followed the will-o’-the-wisp of their own intellectual and spiritual curiosity”; Albert Einstein, one of its first faculty members (1933–1935, School of Mathematics), “All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike – and yet it is the most precious thing we have”; and George F. Kennan, faculty member (1956–2005, School of Historical Studies), “True scholars often work in loneliness, compelled to find reward in the awareness that they have made valuable, even beautiful, contributions to the cumulative structure of human knowledge, whether anyone knows it at the time or not.”
Scholar’s Rock is located along the south edge of the large pond situated in the Institute’s handsome and well-maintained landscape cum sculpture garden. It is at the entrance to the Institute’s popular 300-acre nature preserve with it's extensive walking trails.
Zimmerman created the illusion of a 50-foot-long linear floating bench when viewed from the main campus looking across the water from the center of the IAS campus. The curved, granite benches are invisibly supported by numerous powder-coated stainless steel poles that vary slightly in width, color, and height. They were inspired by and suggest the surrounding tree trunks both in their height and shape, and in the shadows they cast.
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ
Along the edge of a large pond at the IAS campus,
50’l x 3’w granite bench with inscriptions is “suspended” by forest or stainless steel poles;
Granite and powder-coated stainless steel
Institute for Advanced Study
Stone supply & fabrication: Cold Spring Granite Company